View from Syria
June 22, 2021 – 09:18
The number of children abducted and raped in crisis regions has increased dramatically by 2020, the United Nations said.
The office of Virginia Gambas, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict, said abductions have increased by 90 percent, while rape and other forms of sexual violence have increased by 70 percent.
The office documented violence against more than 19,300 girls and boys in conflict zones during 2020.
Its annual report states that in 8,400 cases children have been killed or maimed – mainly in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
Nearly 7,000 minors have been recruited as soldiers or used in the war – mainly in Somalia, Syria, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The report notes that the coronavirus pandemic has increased children’s vulnerability to abduction, recruitment and sexual violence.
“Measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus have complicated the work of United Nations child protection monitors and experts,” the report said.
It states that attacks on schools and hospitals have occurred at “extremely high rates”, while many schools have also been used for “military purposes”.
Human rights watchdog criticized the UN office for not including Israel and Saudi Arabia in their list of actions against children. / REL